Painting the Sea and Sky Like This Calms My Nerves

This year has been a struggle for me as I live my artist’s life with ongoing depression and rising anxiety. Some might say I’m just another “tortured” artist, but it has taken me 20+ years to become accustomed to what “normal” feels like for me. And how I feel has changed alot this year for me.

So, as I work to get back to my own normal, one of my trusty therapies is my painting process. And besides trees, the sea and sky is one of my most favorite subjects. Painting the expansive sea and the ever-changing sky along with a nice, crisp horizon line holding them together almost always calms my nerves.

See what you think (and feel) with my latest sea and sky painting below. It’s titled No. 6 but is the only larger sea and sky painting to date that I’ve completely finished and mounted on panel. Click the painting or the link below to view it on my website.

Sure wish we were there in No. 6, don’t you?

Thanks for looking and for supporting my art!

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“Oregon Coast Sea and Sky No. 6”, oil and metallic watercolor on panel, 12 x 12 inches, $400 (available on my website).

Met the Property Brothers, and… I’m Still on a Square Binge!

I’ve been painting squares like never before recently… which for me is saying alot!  I’m even doing a bit of collage application – here are some 1″ x 1″ squares that I’ve applied to a larger painting.  Incidently, I met the Property Brothers – Drew, Jonathan and JD Scott – this past weekend at a private meet and greet here in Columbus.  I’m a HUGE fan and presented them with some of my original artwork.  The painting below was one of them!

Steve and I with the very TALL Property Brothers.
Steve and I with the very TALL Property Brothers.
Collaged squares on a recent painting... now in the collection of the Property Brothers!
Collaged squares on a recent painting… now in the collection of the Property Brothers!

How Do I Solve A Problem Like Michael W Smith?

I’ve been a fan of Michael W Smith’s music for a long time – surely over 25 years.  His music and message always inspire me… all year around and at the holidays.  His music is especially a favorite of mine for listening in my studio.

I recently commented here that I was listening to some of my favorite holiday music in my studio, including Michael W Smith, and received an interesting message from one of my blog fans.  In a nutshell, the point was, how do I reconcile being a big fan of a musician who most likely would condemn and oppress me for being gay?  I’ll admit that it is a question that I’ve avoided researching over the years, not really wanting to confirm anything.  But, this message from a fan made me google around to see what I could find.  I didn’t really stop to think how I would solve this problem, depending upon what I found out…

Well, there doesn’t seem to be much out there about what Michael W Smith thinks of gay folks.  But, he does have a recent, dramatic video on his website that encourages conservatives to vote and highlights the fear of “redefining marraige” as a motivator.  He also seems to be a fan of Rick Santorum, and we all know what he thinks of gay Americans.

So, how do I solve a problem like Michael W Smith?  Is there a problem? Can I just not care what he thinks and still be inspired by his music? I’m certainly not a book-or-CD-burning kind of guy, but will I stop listening to his music?  Blech – I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll try focusing on a simple message that is on his live Worship album.  I wrote it down to send to members of my family years ago and dug it out to hang back up in my studio today:

Michael W Smith, live from his Worship album to the crowd in Louisville, KY...
Michael W Smith, live from his Worship album to the crowd in Louisville, KY…

Denver, CO –> Columbus, OH…. Did I Get Lost?

Dear Art Fans –

Where do I begin?  Well, perhaps I’ll start with where I ended up…. Columbus, Ohio.  Nine months ago, the cats and I made the two-day drive from Denver to Columbus to join my partner, Steve, in our new home.  Steve had received an opportunity to transfer within his company to the regional office in Columbus and, since we had been talking about “going on an adventure” for awhile, we jumped on it.  And landed smack in the middle of Ohio.

While Steve’s new job got off to a great start, I quickly became deeply involved in helping care for my 85-year-old Uncle Jack.  The court here in Ohio appointed me his legal guardian and I spent much of the Spring and Summer travelling up to Cleveland to help care for Uncle Jack’s health and finances.  Sadly, my Uncle Jack passed away at the end of the Summer… may he rest in peace!

So, now I’m making art in my basement studio that I’ve set up.  A lot of pent-up paintings are now flowing.  They’ll be showing up here soon, so stay tuned for more posts from Columbus!

Artlovers Know No Age Limits

I love when kids of all ages really look at and comment on my art… it may sound corny, but it helps give me hope for our future!  Sometimes, someone will go beyond that and really surprise me though.  I recently had an exchange with a new fan that started with an email that said, “Hello.  I really like your art and wanted to say ‘good job’.”  I replied with my usual thank-you email and encouraged them to sign up for my email list or to Like me on Facebook where I post occassional art specials for folks.  I love the repy I got back:

I can’t get any of your artwork because I’m only 10.

Well, if this young art fan is able to get her parent’s permission, I’ll be sending her one of my flapjacks to get her collection started – you’re never too young!!

Inspiration: My Favorite Garden Perennial – Cupid’s Dart

I thought I’d share one of my favorite perennials that shows up as inspiration in my art… whether it is my Cupid’s Dart notecard image or the perfect lavender-blue color that I love so much.  These are from a clump growing in our back garden.  I transplanted them last year and was afraid they wouldn’t come back this year, but they did!

Cupid's Dart growing in my back garden this year.